Homemade Kimchijeon (kimchi pancake)

Homemade Kimchi Pancake >> Guinea Pigging Green

The official one year mark since I started living in Korea is fast approaching, and one month after that I’ll be moving away from the place I’ve called home this past year. It’s been such an incredible adventure full of high highs and low lows and a lot of pleasant in-betweens. I am so, so grateful that I took the leap in coming here all those months ago. If I hadn’t, I never would have gotten to see so much of the world, I wouldn’t have met so many great people, and most importantly I wouldn’t have been able to try so much insanely delicious Korean food.

I mean, I know we have (fairly average) bibimbap in Canada and the occasional place that serves bulgogi (but if you’ve been here a while you know Laura and I wouldn’t turn down for that), but none of it holds a candle to the food you can find on any street corner here in Korea, and for so cheap too! The local food scene is awesome and so full of dishes and treats that one year in I still haven’t tried a lot of it. I’ve been too busy eating my favourites! Yes, there are definitely some foods I really do NOT like but on the whole, I love Korean food. If you want a laugh, this video of Korean girls trying American snacks for the first time is full of them. To be honest that’s how I feel about a few Korean snacks too, but in general the food is very good.

One of my favourite new discoveries this year was kimchijeon, which is a kind of savoury kimchi pancake. While probably not the most nutritious thing you can eat (although my students insists kimchi cures cancer!), it is absolutely delicious. Here, you can get it at a lot of restaurants or even at the grocery store sometimes, but I started getting nervous about what I would do without my Kimchijeon fix when I’m back in Canada! So I decided to try and make it for myself at home. Fortunately, it’s very easy to make and not time consuming, as long as you have some yummy kimchi on hand. In Korea, families make kimchi at home once a year, for the year, and it is a very labour-intensive process. But lucky for us, we can just buy it at the grocery store!

Homemade Kimchi Pancake >> Guinea Pigging Green

Kimchi Pancake (kimchijeon)

Adapted from Maangchi

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped kimchi
  • 3 tbsp kimchi juice (the liquids in the bottom of the jar of kimchi!)
  • 2 tbsp chopped white onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup water

Method

Mix all the ingredients together into a bowl with a spoon, so that no lumps of flour remain. Heat a couple glugs of oil in a large pan (I used canola oil). Add in the batter and spread it out in the pan with the back of a spoon. The oil should be hot enough that the batter hisses when it hits the pan!

Cook for about a minute or so per side, or until crispy and slightly browned. Flip carefully!

I like to eat my kimchijeon with some soy sauce or with a bit of melted cheese on top. Yum!

Homemade Kimchi Pancake >> Guinea Pigging Green

Build Your Own Burrito Bowl

DIY Burrito Bowls

Lately, I’ve been way into burrito bowls.

Crunchy lettuce, fresh tomatoes, avocado, beans… need I say more?

Up until now, I’ve left it to the professionals. I don’t know how it took me 23 years to realize that personal burrito bowl assembly was not only within my realm of possibilities, but also incredibly easy!

Not to mention, burrito bowls are a total crowd-pleaser.

Just prepare the bits and bobs and allow everyone to assemble their own! My personal favourite ingredients:

  • baked sweet potato (sliced, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes in olive oil)
  • black beans
  • corn
  • cherry tomatoes
  • avocado (or make your own guac if you’re feeling industrious!)
  • refried beans
  • rice (perfect use of leftovers)
  • sauteed bell peppers + onion, with low-sodium taco seasoning
  • organic salsa
  • chopped lettuce
  • Daiya cheese

DIY Burrito Bowls

You’re sure to have plenty of leftovers for packed-lunches. You can even shake it up by wrapping the same ingredients in a tortilla or in lettuce leaves.

Lettuce know how it goes!

–Laura


 

Butternut Squash Fries

Step aside, sweet potato fries… Here’s what I’m telling my friends to make for Thanksgiving this year!

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‘Tis the season for squash — and here’s one foolproof recipe that will win over your dinner guests. Best of all, it takes very little time to prepare. Butternut squash fries are a slight twist on sweet potato fries, and I promise you’ll fall in love with their light taste, soft insides, and crispy edges!

Butternut Squash Fries

Serves: 3-4 people as a side

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2-3 tbsp coconut oil (if you don’t have coconut oil — which I urge you to start using — use extra virgin olive oil)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using a potato peeler, remove the butternut squash skin — it comes off extremely easily!
  3. Cut open the squash and remove the seeds as if you were carving a pumpkin. Cut the squash into fries of similar sizes.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mix squash, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and enough coconut oil to coat the fries lightly (don’t use too much)
  5. Spread fries on a large baking sheet and bake for ~20 minutes. Your fries should be slightly crispy.

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There you have it! I like to think that using a squash makes a “fries” dish a little more gourmet. What do you think? What will you be making? Let us know in the comments below or talk to us on Twitter @GreenGuineaPigs!

To all of our Canadian readers, we hope you have a very special Thanksgiving next weekend. I am so grateful for everything in my life, including being home this year to celebrate with my family. Rumour has it my aunt will be making this Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf from Oh She Glows (one of my favourites), and I’ll be pressuring my brother to whip up his vegan cheesecake (recipe coming soon)!

Oh! And Steph’s home from her great European adventure. I’m very thankful to have my good friend and podcasting-partner back. We’ve got some stuff planned…

For those of our readers who are celebrating Thanksgiving for the first time as a vegan or vegetarian this year — you are amazing. Thank you so much for making a difference in our world. Big, traditional family meals can be tough (we talked about this here), but they’re definitely doable. I love this approach to accepting the choices made by our loved ones. Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits blog is certainly worth a follow. Sending you tons of love and positivity.

— Laura